"I feel stiffness in or on the front of my hips."
When patients present to the clinic complaining of hip tightness on the front of their hips, this can often be the result of sitting all day in a shortened muscle position and or overuse from weekly exercise such as gym or ball sports. Other more sinister pathologies like hip impingement or labral tears can also present as tightness. By overuse we mean riding a bicycle for several hours during the week and then again on the weekend for a long ride or kicking practice at AFL training and then again, several games on the weekend, basically anything that would bring their hip into flexion repeatedly. When we pose hip flexion as a screening question during the initial assessment, we look to ascertain whether hip flexion is occurring and more importantly if enough repeated hip flexion is occurring to create overuse syndrome and tightness. On many occasions we find that it is not actually occurring, and this is supported by the findings in the assessment. So, what is driving the tightness? Well apart from neurological conditions creating tightness, muscles can either tighten from overuse or they can also develop tightness if they are weak and placed under load.
So as our physical assessment continues, we do however find time and time again that clients hip flexors are weak. Now if you want to test this yourself you can trial the following test. Place a small looped TheraBand around your feet and start marching up and down on the spot. Count your lifts and bring your knees to hip height, you will be looking for even repetitions and fatigue on left and right and if you feel one side is weaker then you know you need to do some work on that side. If your result is very small number of reps this could also indicate injury so be very careful and don't push it. If you feel pain contact us immediately. To treat this tightness and now newly found weakness if it was apparent come in for further assessment and we can help you with your loathed hip flexor tightness.